“Which kind, ma’am?” she asked, pursing her lips slightly as she stared back at me.
Feeling much like one of the Old Timers bellied up to the counter of the local diner, my eyes anxiously scanned the menu board overhead as I frantically tried to process all the flotsam to get to the important stuff.
“I’ll take the one that’s ‘elegant, with a hint of cocoa,’” I said, pretending to delve deeply into the offerings when all I really wanted was a cup of coffee.
“Sorry, we’re out of that one,” she explained. “More will be ready in about four and a half minutes, if you’d care to wait.”
Four and a half minutes might as well be an eternity when you’re already an hour and a half late for your first cup of the morning. In another four and a half minutes, I’d be curled up in the fetal position sucking my thumb on the floor in front of the designer coffee mug rack.”
“Give me a medium ‘whatever,’” I replied.
“Room for cream?”
This chick was starting to get on my last nerve. “No. Fill ‘r up.” I ordered.
I preferred my coffee with cream and sugar, but at these prices I liked to maximize the caffeine impact on my blood stream by taking my first big gulp straight-up.
“That’s one grande Sumatra,” she called to her co-worker. As she placed my fist full of dollars in the cash resister, she sighed.
I am one of the world’s leading experts on the effective use of sighs, but I had never witnessed a sigh so skillfully blended with a subtle eye-roll and accented ever so delicately with just a hint of incredulity. It was probably something she’d learned at coffee barista school to encourage those of us who prefer our coffee to actually taste like coffee to take our business back to the Waffle House®.
The middle-aged gentleman behind me ordered a tall dolce de leche with a splash of soy and extra toffee sprinkles, along with a raspberry scone. I let out a little sigh of my own, adding a demonstrative eye-roll when his back was turned. “Scones,” I growled to myself as I stirred some cream into my cup-of-Joe. “The only reason I’d ever buy a scone would be to tape a threatening note to it and throw it through someone’s window.”
Copyright © 2017 Patra Taylor